US visas to Chinese mainland students drop 99 pct, while Chinese students fear pandemic, racism, anti-China sentiment

Nov 7, 2020 by

US visas granted to Chinese mainland students have plummeted 99 percent compared to last year. Chinese students are also increasingly deciding not to study in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, intensified racism and anti-China sentiments.

The US granted visas to 808 Chinese mainland students between April and the end of September, a 99 percent drop from the same period last year, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia, citing US State Department data. More than 30 percent of international students in the US are from China, the most of any country.

The visas granted to students from other Asian countries including India, Japan and South Korea have also plummeted more than 70 percent, the report said.

The report cited the pandemic, racism and so-called “Chinese espionage”, as excuses which the US uses to refuse Chinese students. This apparent academic decoupling is bilateral as many Chinese students are worried about their safety in the country.

A Chinese student at Harvard University surnamed Zhang told the Global Times on Thursday that since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Asians especially Chinese are experiencing rising racist sentiments.

Zhang attributed the racial discrimination to the current US administration’s endless lies and slander against China.

Another Chinese student surnamed Tang from the University of Florida said the US handling of COVID-19 was much worse than they had expected.

Zhang and Tang have returned to China, where they say it’s safer and are taking online courses from their universities.

An education consultant in charge of undergraduate program applications in a Beijing-based agency said some students who had earlier decided to postpone their enrollment are now considering declining offers from US schools.

The consultant noted that students who have not yet applied are hesitating applying to US schools due to the coronavirus and China-US tensions.

More Chinese students and their parents are also worried about rising violence and an anti-China atmosphere in the US.

Media reports said between March to June more than 2,100 anti-Asian hate cases related to COVID-19 were reported across the US.

TechCrunch4 said the so-called “Chinese espionage” in the US has played a large role in the drop of granted visas to Chinese mainland students.

US authorities announced in September the cancellation of visas granted to at least 1,000 students and researchers “linked to the Chinese military.”

Observers noted that as tensions between China and the US intensify, the US government is likely to take tougher measures to further restrict overseas students.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier the US measures are outright political persecution and racial discrimination, which seriously violates the rights of Chinese students studying abroad.

Source: US visas to Chinese mainland students drop 99 pct, while Chinese students fear pandemic, racism, anti-China sentiment – Global Times

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